Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she’d found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes romances that run the gamut from contemporary to paranormal to erotic suspense.
And for all of those who want the unedited version:
Tracy Wolff lives with four men, teaches writing to local college students and spends as much time as she can manage immersed in worlds of her own creation. Married to the alpha hero of her dreams for twelve years, she is the mother of three young sons who spend most of their time trying to make her as crazy as possible.
You can find Tracy also on Twitter, www.tracywolff.blogspot.com and www.sizzlingpens.blogspot.com.
1. How long have you wanted to write?
Forever. I’ve been scribbling short stories and poems since I was in elementary school, but it was in high school that I decided that writing novels was what I wanted to do with my life. So, in undergrad and graduate school, I studied literature and creative writing in the hopes of one day being a published author. But it wasn’t until I stayed home with my second son, a preemie with very bad lungs who couldn’t go to daycare, that I wrote my first novel, Full Exposure.
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2. How do you get ideas for your books? How do you know if they are viable?
I always start a novel by deciding who my main characters are and what they do for a living. Then I try to figure out what the main conflicts are-internal and external. From there, it’s just a matter of finding a story that will suit them and their baggage (and God knows, my characters have a lot of baggage!)
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3. Do you think writing contests really work?
Seeing as I got published because of a writing contest, I might be the wrong person to ask. My novel, A Christmas Wedding, took second place in the Harlequin Everlasting Love contest two years ago. As a direct result of that, the wonderful Beverley Sotolov bought my book and started me on the incredible journey to publication.
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4. Some of your love scenes are very racy. Do you really do everything you write about?
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5. How do you teach, write and juggle life with three young sons?
Very carefully. Thankfully, I’m a quick writer, so that’s half the battle right there. But it isn’t easy finding time away from homework, sports events, cooking, cleaning, grading essays, teaching and generally being a good wife, mother and professor to write. But I’m a much happier person when I’m writing, so my family is usually pretty good about giving me a few hours every day to do just that. Usually, being the operative word here.
I try to write three hours a day, with a minimum word count of 3000. Of course, some days life interferes and that just isn’t possible, but I do try—even if I have to get up at four-thirty in the morning to do it.
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6. Do you like hearing from your readers?
I love hearing from people who read my stories. Whether they want to talk about my characters, lament over a scene or discuss the places I set my novels, I absolutely love getting e-mails.